Democrats say budget will decimate education

CREATED Feb 20, 2013

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MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Democrats say Republican Gov. Scott Walker's budget that freezes spending for public education will severely harm those schools that are still reeling from deep cuts over the past two years.

Walker's budget released Wednesday doesn't allow spending increases for schools while raising aid by about 1 percent, but that money will go toward lowering property taxes and not on education spending.

State superintendent Tony Evers says schools are struggling to make ends meet and the Legislature should allow spending to increase at least $225 per student.

Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca says Democrats are hoping to improve the budget's education proposals to help schools that he says are "struggling mightily."

Walker's budget also calls for expanding private school vouchers to districts with failing schools.